Studies on the Epidemiology of Sandfly Fever in Iran

III. Host-feeding Patterns of Phlebotomus papatasi in an Endemic Area of the Disease

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  • School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, University of Tehran, Pacific Research Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, P.O. Box 1310, Tehran, Iran

Blood meals from 575 Phlebotomus papatasi collected in an Iranian village were identified by precipitin test. The majority of sandfly feedings (57.5%) were on birds, mainly chickens and pigeons. The remaining 42.5% were on mammals (humans, cows, mules, sheep, and goats) or were non-reactive. Calculation of forage ratios for each host species indicated that chickens, equines, and bovines were the preferred hosts of P. papatasi in the village. Results of this study demonstrate that P. papatasi has a much wider natural host range than indicated previously and suggest that this species is an opportunistic feeder and is not strongly anthropophilic. Observations on the diurnal activity of P. papatasi are also presented.

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